Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC 2006)

The Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) is an International Labour Organization convention established in 2006 as the fourth pillar of international maritime law and embodies “all up-to-date standards of existing international maritime labour Conventions and Recommendations, as well as the fundamental principles to be found in other international labour Conventions”. The other “pillars are the SOLAS, STCW and MARPOL. The treaties applies to all ships entering the harbours of parties to the treaty (port states), as well as to all states flying the flag of state party (flag states, as of 2013: 50 per cent).

The convention entered into force on 20 August 2013, one year after registering 30 ratifications of countries representing over 33 per cent of the world gross tonnage of ships.[1] Already after five ratifications the ratifying countries (Bahamas, Norway, Liberia, Marshall Islands, and Panama) represented over 43 per cent of the gross world tonnage[3] (which is over 33 per cent; the second requirement for entry into force). As of November 2016, the convention has been ratified by 80 states representing over 87 per cent of global shipping.

Although the Convention has not been ratified worldwide, it has widespread effect because vessels from non-signatory states that attempt to enter ports of signatory states may face arrest and penalties for non-compliance with the MLC.